THEY SAID WHAT?

    . . . IN PAPERS


Click on a number to jump to the article.

11. March 2000.. Oxford Nightshift Magazine. LSCD Album Review.
10. December 1999. Oxford Nightshift Magazine. Believe Review.
9.   September 1999. Oxford Nightshift Magazine. Gig Review 21/8/99.
8.   September 1999. BURBs 'What's the Spell?' Online Magazine. Gig Review 3/7/99.
7.   September 1999. BURBs 'What's the Spell?' Online Magazine. CD Single Review.
6.   August 1999. Black Velvet Fanzine. CD Single Review.
5.   July 1999. Rock Sound Magazine. CD Single Review.
4.   June 1999. Oxford Nighshift Magazine. Oxford Punt Gig Review.
3.   February 1999. Oxford Courier Newspaper. 'Catch a dose of the Flume'.
2.   January 1999. Oxford Nightshift Magazine. CD Single Review.
1.   December 1998. Newbury Weekly News. 'Flume tunes in town'.


 

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1. Newbury Weekly News

Thursday, December 1998

Headline: Flume tunes in town

The Waterside Centre will be playing host to a band from that Mecca of music. Oxford on Saturday December 19th. Flume features Bob, Ollie, and West Berks drummer Nick, who regular gig-goers may recognise from Newbury bands such as Puppet Regime and Lid. Flume which formed in late February have just released their first CD. 'Flume . . . the hell are you?' which is available from Planet Music, priced 2.75. Find out more about the band by visiting their website on www.flumeland.co.uk.
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2. Nightshift Magazine

January 1999. Oxford Monthly Music Magazine

Review of the 'Flume . . . the hell are you' CD single.

Everywhere you look bands are going back to roots. From Beck to Gomez the blues is back, so where else to start for Flume, featuring former Earth Machine vocalist Bob Lawrence and bassist Paul Oliver? 'Some Time' starts out life as Reef but quickly descends/ascends (delete according to personal taste) into typical blues-tinged boogie, lighter in touch and far poppier than the mighty Earth Machine. Chunky without being bruising, it nestles comfortably alongside the current crop of retro-rockers without causing too much fuss.
During the course of second track, 'On My Own' approximately twenty three people popped their head round the door to comment that it sounded exactly like Steppenwolf's 'Born To Be Wild'. They needn't have bothered; I'd already scribbled the name neatly in large capital letters at the top of my notebook. Sometimes I'm so quick off the mark I surprise myself.
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3. Oxford Courier Newspaper

Thursday, 18th February 1999, Roxford Section

Headline: Catch a dose of the Flume

Oxford three-piece Flume have just released their debut CD ... the hell are you? after playing a string of low-key gigs across the country since September.
The CD tracks Some Time and On My Own, lo-fi tunes which sound a little like Pavement or Dinosaur Jr. were recorded at Oxfordshire TOG studios.
Flume also have their own website, so if you want to keep track of their forthcoming gigs and record releases you can contact them on www.flumeland.co.uk/
For those of you not linked up to the Internet, Flume's next gig is on Friday February 26 at The Point where they will be supporting Mindsurfer.
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4. Nightshift Magazine

June  1999. Oxford Monthly Music Magazine

Review of 'The Oxford Punt' Gig @ The Dolly

First up down the Dolly are X-1, with their own brand of holocaustic hardcore, and the melodic and white noise mix soon wins over a predominantly metal crowd. Flume's groovy beats and gut-thumping blues-orientated power rock hits the right spot. Their confident control of stage and song displays the quality of their musical pedigree and Reef might do well to watch their backs. Callous then treat us to a mind-blowing, apocalyptic hardcore explosion, on a mission to devour all unbelievers with their Voivod-esque riffing leaving the crowd  somewhat shell-shocked. When Black Candy finally close proceedings all hell breaks loose in front of stage, prompted by their downtuned rap-metal noise. The power of their double-edged guitar attack cuts clean to the pituitary as the crowd surfers dismantle the lighting rig.
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5. Rock Sound Magazine

July  1999. Issue 4.

Review of the 'Flume . . . the hell are you' CD single.

Flume start well enough until Bob sings. If you want to succeed get a new vocalist in boys. The playing's competent enough in a vaguely punky way but Bob ain't a frontman. Sorry.
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6. Black Velvet Magazine

August  1999. Issue 21 Rock/Punk/Glam Fanzine

Review of the 'Flume . . . the hell are you' CD single.

Flume are vocalist/guitarist Robert Lawrence, drummer Nick Townsend and bassist Ollie. They are based in Oxford and have been together since Spring '98. '... The Hell Are You?' is their debut release. Comprising of two tracks - 'Some Time' could be likened to early Black Crowes material, while 'On My Own' is more comparable with classic rock of the 70's. A very commendable effort.
Marianne Tuite.
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7. BURBS 'What's The Spell?'

September  1999. Online Rock Magazine

Review of the 'Flume . . . the hell are you' CD single.

The first thing you notice about Flume's '... The Hell Are You?' CD-Single is what a nice job somebody's made of the (cardboard) sleeve. And the first thing you notice about the contents is that Rhythm & Blues is not dead. Thank you, Flume. I love you. Track 1 (presumably the A-side) is 'Some Time', and there's a wonderful riff going on here, very reminiscent of ... well, oddly, it's very reminiscent of a band I used to be in. The vocals are very sparse and lonely, however (Bob's a much better singer than I was), which takes it out of the sixties, when the RnB vocals were either gravelly-voiced or high-harmonised, and makes the overall effect much more contemporary. My problem with 'Some Time' is that I can't help hearing a different arrangement in my head. It's a very well-constructed pop song but it seems to be missing something. It could easily be built up into a charging piece of melodic guitar-driven sub-metallic power-pop, with the chorus resolving itself into something great and punchy. Flume sound nothing like Def Leppard, but they could do, if you know what I mean.   This isn't Flume's fault - it's just that the whole thing sounds so damned familiar. Anyway. Track 2, 'On My Own', thankfully, is nothing like anything I used to do. It's a great piece of driving music that reminds me a lot of Jonathan Richman, thumping along in irresistible fashion. It doesn't waver much from side to side, but it's great at going straight ahead. Put it on in the car. Hammer down. See what I mean? In my opinion this should be the A-side, but it's a close-run thing. 'On My Own' is what it is - and it's the finished article. Flume are a three-piece, and they are bloody impressive. Buy '... The Hell Are You' - and hey, hey, HEY! Let's be careful out there ...
JJ

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8. BURBS 'What's The Spell?'

September  1999. Online Rock Magazine

Review of Gig. The Waterside Centre, Newbury. 3rd July 1999.

I can't recall EXACTLY when it happened but somewhere in the last 3 weeks Flume got into my bloodstream and are showing no signs of vacating. I think it was when I ploughed through me pile of demos looking for music to air at the historical MK BURBs Live gig. I discovered Flume's track "On My Own" and included it on the big screen PA rock mix slots I made. At that point I liked the Flume track just as much as Turbo Visor, two fast paced power pop tunes that were really great. Then, one day, I came to make the play list for "BURBs Too!" (Our, hopefully, forthcoming CD compilation) and included Flume's "On My Own". These were the good old days when I had a nice big, powerful Peugeot 405. I went out listening to "BURBs Too!" in the car and that's when it must have happened. "On My Own" is a brilliant driving power pop/rock song that is specifically written with driving in mind (or so I'd have thought, surely it must be?). Then, my company gave me a diesel escort (I refuse to give it a capital e) and the track is much faster and more powerful than the bloody car is!! So, Flume - "On My Own", bloody marvellous and my all-time favourite BURB track, at the moment. Anyway, Brad 'n' Lee from REAMER wanted to come too so we all gets in the escort and head off to Newbury at a very modest pace (and I was thrashing the nuts off the shit heap!). Nick (Flume drummer) had said to me that it was not exactly a high profile gig but I'd nagged him that it would have to be a Saturday night for me to travel from Hitchin and back. The Waterside is the local Youth & Community spot for Newbury town centre. Nice little venue really, good stage with good capacity and a small bar selling cheap (and weak) cans of booze. Some lurvely birds hanging about! It took a bit of time to suss out that Bob (Flume Guitarist/Singer) was with one of them and the barman was sorting out the other! Damn. (Nice one Bob. ;-) Anyway, a local band called Kyhmera (I hope) did a 35-40 minute set of covers. The thing about Kyhmera is the young lad on lead guitar. 11 years old and, according to Brad, technically far superior than he is! Apparently he's sponsored by a PA company and has only been playing a year! Being a shite journalist I don't know his name or the PA company although I'd think it may be Peavey? (What a dunce). I introduced myself to Flume half way through this set after making sure they were actually Flume. I'd made a complete knob of myself earlier that evening by saying that I was on 'the guest list' only to be told that they didn't have a 'guest list' (in a way that implied I was a wanker trying to get in for free - well, I suppose she had a point there!). Anyway, had a chat with the Flume boys before they went up to do their thang and yet again, a thoroughly nice bunch of blokes. It's amazing how all the really good bands contain thoroughly decent chaps. Flume kicked off their set with a sound that made Lee instantly get my attention and say, 'they're a good band Barry' (yeah, like I know Lee, that's why I just drove 120 miles to come and see them). What Lee meant, I think, is that Flume sound so complete, pumping and driving that you'd expect two guitarists and bass to achieve the sound. I've always had a thing for a three piece band after having been a lifetime Jam devotee. I always refuse to attempt to musically review a band's live performance; if I have to I'll have a go from a CD but not live. I've never been anything close to a musician myself so it's not for me to say. All I can say about Flume is that they sound bloody great! One thing I realised about them is that no one member stands out, at all. This is because they are all equally bloody fantastic at what they do. Bob gives us the full sounding power-pop-rock riffs whilst also providing the great sounding vocals. Nick is a technically superb drummer that obviously loves his playing as much as everybody in the room does. Ollie stands in the corner of the stage and slaps his bass like Nostradamus really should be listened to when he said the world's ending tomorrow (literally). So there they all were, being superb, enjoying themselves and making a noise that could challenge The Jam and (in my humble opinion) kick their Oxford counterparts Supergrass into next week (whenever you may be reading this). I can't remember much about the set, just the two tracks I know about through having their demo CD: "Some Time" and the pop-tastic "On My Own". Soon, as "Some Time" started I realised how good they are at re-creating their studio sound, live. I have seen some BURB bands that just can not sound the same as their demos; Flume can, if they want to. Patiently waiting for my current anthem to come on, I took some more piccies, having a nightmare waiting for the lighting to be bright for a good photo whilst being paranoid everyone was looking at me. Then one track suddenly slowed down and BOOM! "On My Own" had started! Wey-hey! Here we go lads - I was singing along as loud as I could. I know the song inside out, upside down now and it was a real buzz watching the band play it in this small community centre. I bought another CD (even though I've got one) and got the lads to sign it (I'm not silly, I know a good thing when I see one). I even bought one for Brad n Lee but they're both too much superstars themselves, naturally, to ask for autographs. Still, never mind I'll lend you both a tenner one day, lads! Brilliant, I would have travelled 240 miles to see this band. Flume, I was there. Thanks Guys, see you soon!
Barry

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9. Nightshift Magazine

September  1999. Oxford Monthly Music Magazine

Review of 'Your Song' Gig @ The Point

Overground were once again the stars of 'Your Song' last month covering Ultrasound in some style, bassist Ed even doing a stunning impersonation of t'Sounds's Vanessa, both vocally and in looks. Ever contrary the band also treated everyone to a Dire Straits medley. Other highlights of the 14th 'Your Song' were Flume's take on 'Ace of Spades', Stars of Truck and Field doing 'Run to the Hills' and Frigid Vinegar's 'Dogmonaut 2000' and ATL playing a set of ska classics in a krautrock style. Dressed in polythene jump suits. These events just get stranger.
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10. Nightshift Magazine

December  1999. Oxford Monthly Music Magazine

Review of Believe

More retro rocking, but this time in a proper balls-to-the-wall ROCK style. Nice meaty chunks of old school noise. A bit 70s, a bit 80s, possibly even a bit 90s. A bit LA, a bit Sheffield, all hair and riffs. After this kind of rock took such a battering during the grunge years it's oddly quaint hearing something so traditional nowadays. At least it remains pretty poodle-free and the (obligatory) guitar solo even sounds like it means business. There's only the one song here and it's a blues-tinged proto-metal beastie. Rock, plain and simple.
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11. Nightshift Magazine

March  2000. Oxford Monthly Music Magazine

Review of LSCD

If anything is going to kill local music it is the lazy, sneering cynicism of those who criticise anyone's attempts to actually do something. Whether it's Sound City, Truck Festival or Shifty Disco, somebody will complain that they've been excluded, that it's all crap. But it's projects like this that keep the whole thing alive. LSCD is the result of a 6th form business project at Fitzharry School in Abingdon. The concept is hardly original - a compilation of unsigned local bands - but the attitude is faultless. As you might expect with any such compilation, the music is a bit of a mixed bag - hardly from the sublime to the ridiculous, but there's certainly the good, the bad and the ugly contained herein. There are few established bands here and those that are (Suriki, Flume, Holy Roman Empire) are still making tentative steps, so 'LSCD' really is showcasing the newer bands in town. As such it might not hold much sway beyond Oxfordshire but it's a pretty neat way for local music fans to discover the odd band or two they might not go out of their way to see live.
Flume open proceedings with some balls-to-the-wall stadium metal - something like Guns'n'Roses-meets-Pearl Jam, and suitably uncompromising to either fashion or subtlety; just like rock should be.
Similarly bloody-minded are Vade Mecum whose scouring sheet-metal attack, 'Venom' bridges a gap between the old school of AC/DC and the new industrial heavy brigade. Possibly just as heavy in their own way are Suriki whose dense sound, replete with sonar blips sounds like Radiohead gone goth. 'Touchdown' is probably the album's strongest track. Another band with Radiohead leanings are the now defunct
Polysoul whose singer, Richard Walters definitely has a bit of the Thom Yorke about him. Musically though the band are much lighter in touch, although there is still something of the 80s gothic about them and anything that Richard gets involved with in the future must be worth a listen. Of the bands we'd not heard before Funktion are the most pleasant surprise. Initially their funked-up 'Mobile Generation' threatens to be little more than a lazy jam session, but it's seriously distracted, fractured and off-kilter with its Pigbag-style horns and breakbeats taking cheesy 60s porn funk onto another level. On another plane altogether are Holy Roman Empire. If you don't know them already they are the band who epitomise the attitude over ability ethos. These people really cannot sing to save their lives. Their mutant punk disco is as tacky as a Day-Glo Madonna and every song sounds like a Christmas hit. Needless to say we love them. Five Mile Drive almost had us thinking they were covering 'Echo Beach' with its hollow guitar intro but they soon take a turn into Nirvana's melodic grunge territory, and you have to say they do it better than most. Beyond these bands, things get a little harder to love. Suntrap's gruff 60s mod-pop is pleasant enough but is perhaps too unpretentious and not a little unlike Travis at times. Four Way Trauma's 'Boy' is merely generic piano-led indie funk, while X-Hail have a singer with one of those perfect session singer voices - full-throated and almost soulful but lacking any real character by dint of its proficiency. The band's innocuous funky jangle doesn't help. Hence The Grin have already been savaged once before in these pages but to be kind they do seem to have at least a basic grasp of the rudiments of pop even if they lack musical ambition. Oddly enough, or maybe not, the worst track on the whole album is by the only non-Oxford band, Atomika, whose nasally pub-rock is simply irritating. LSCD's real triumph, apart from existing in the first place and giving a leg-up to bands who might not otherwise progress beyond local pub gigs, is that it really doesn't sound like a dozen demo tracks strung together. That might sound like an obvious point to make but it would have been an easy pitfall given limited experience and a limited budget. It deserves your time and year money.
Dale Kattack.
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